- Cotton Crop Assessment Committee revises cotton production target by 19.5 percent, from 10.5 million bales set for 2021-22 to 8.46 million bales
Islamabad: The Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) revised downward the cotton production target by 19.5 percent, i.e., from 10.5 million bales set for 2021-22 to 8.46 million bales, after missing the sowing target by 13.4 percent, it was learnt.
A meeting of the CCAC was held on Wednesday, which was chaired by Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research. Representatives of cotton growers, provincial agriculture departments, associations and senior officials of the NFS&R also attended the meeting.
Official sources revealed that a briefing was given to the committee and was informed that sowing target was set at 2.310 million hectares; however, cotton was sown on 1.871 million hectares i.e. 83.2 percent of the sowing target was achieved.
According to official documents, Punjab cultivated cotton on 1.279 million hectares against the target of 1.610 million hectares, i.e., missed by around 21 percent. Sindh was projected to cultivate cotton on 0.640 million hectares, but 93 percent target was achieved, i.e., 0.592 million hectares were cultivated. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Balochistan were projected to cultivate cotton on 0.0022 million hectares and 0.070 million hectares, respectively.
Sources revealed that the meeting was informed that after missing the sowing target, Punjab is estimated to produce 4.53 million bales of cotton against the target of 6.07 million bales set for 2021-22. Sindh is projected to produce 3.50 million bales against the target of four million bales. KPK will produce 0.0002 million bales against the target of 0.00417 million bales, while Balochistan is projected to produce 0.43 million bales, which was targeted for 2021-22.
However, an official handout stated that the minister welcomed the participants and thanked their participation and invited them all to share their feedback and recommendations for the development of cotton crop in Pakistan.
Imam was told that the province of Sindh expects production of 3.5 million bales in this season. He was briefed that the climate in this season has been much better than the last season and due to less rainfall overall production is expected to increase. The production of cotton in Punjab is expected to touch 4.5 million bales at an increase of approximately 8.5 percent from last year. Overall cotton production is expected to reach 8.46 million bales.
The minister was briefed that the year 2020 saw 398.6 mm rainfall, which had a devastating impact on the production, whereas, this year the rainfall was 78.6mm, which has improved the prospect of overall production.
Furthermore, he was told that the attack of Mealybug and Whitefly and CLCuV remained significant, which has adversely affected the production of cotton.
Imam said that it is imperative that awareness among farmers is raised regarding contamination control. He said that through proper chemical sprays the quality and quantity of cotton production can be enhanced.
The minister said that the government will be proactive with the provision of quality seed to facilitate farmers.
The minister said that the present government after eight years set intervention price of Rs5000 per 40kg, which encouraged the grower to invest in crop management and harvest high yields
Growers from Sindh and Punjab have also praised this act of the government and requested to replicate the same in sugarcane and wheat.
Imam said that the government has performed exceptionally well in the last season, as Pakistan had the highest production in the top five crops including wheat with record production of 27.5 million tonnes. The minister said that the government aims to transform cotton production as well.
He said that the PTI government is supporting the cotton grower in every capacity.
The minister shared that there is a need of a paradigm shift in the yield of this crop as it is one of the major factors of production in our industry. The minister said that small holders will only be able to grow wheat if the quality inputs are timely available and in the range of farmer’s access.
The federal minister stressed on establishing linkages between the scientists and farmers mainly to minimise the gap between the results of research farm with that of the actual field.
Imam said that the government wishes to ensure that the concern of all stakeholders is heard and addressed, the official statement added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021